Saturday, April 14, 2012

Catharsis of a research scholar part 6- Chocolate the viagra for researchers

For someone never addicted or in praise of chocolate, my life turned topsy turvy when I landed in Italy for my internship. Was it the weather, alienation in a new land or missing my newly wedded life, I felt depressed. And this was precisely the point when an Italian friend of mine suggested Belgian chocolate. Though a foodie, chocolate never fit into my diet. I always associated chocolate to calories. But my first dose of Belgian chocolate made a world's difference. If I could put it in simple words I felt as if my worries were floating with me. And that's when I changed my perspectives on chocolate. I firmly believe in the power of chocolate. In fact it has harmonised, balanced, controlled my mood swings for the past 3 years. Every time I see bourbon, choco chip, dark fantasy, oreo and any other form of chocolate , I realise I am not the only chronic addict around. Some tell me it's a woman's thing . Beer to men as chocolate to women they say. I got no clue in this regard except for it is my key to sanity and a researcher should have few tricks up his sleeve and chocolate is definitely a resourceful one.

So for your seminars and viva's, presentations and paper writing if there's one magic ingredient you should look forward to it's chocolate... chocolate.... chocolate.
I would even prescribe it for loss of appetite and insomnia because it makes you feel lot better and suddenly generates the feel good factor. A bar of snickers is a worth a lunch in terms of calories.
I even have my favorites for different occasions like snickers on a day I had heavy meals and want to skip a meal. Bournville when I have stomach cramps. Mint flavoured chocolate when I can't sleep. Bourbon or Dark chocolate when I feel depressed and Cadburys raisin and nuts when I am extremely pleased with myself.

I never loved chocolates as a kid, in fact I thought it was kid's stuff and I was too mature to have chocolates. As an adult I guess I would feel pretty much the same if I was not a researcher and not forced to find cures for my insanity and frustration. So as I nibble on dark fantasy philosophising on the wonder drug for successful research I cant stop myself from reminding you all---- Chocolate is the viagra for successful research

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The new church of facebook

The biggest crisis faced by mankind I hear these days are not, the nuclear weapons of mass destruction in Iran's backyard or the toxic assets floating in the financial underworld, but it is boredom and loneliness in our lives today. If loneliness and boredom were a sickness more people would have perished due to it. Man even kills, divorces, gets maniacal, suicidal for the same reasons. But unlike the Iran problem or the mortgage crisis man has devised cure of the aforesaid evils. In olden days, the church and religion sought to seek remedy for these ailments of mankind, but today the burden is on the shoulders of the "social networking sites".

"Man lives not by bread alone by each word that comes from the lord", says the Holy Bible said.

I think skimming through Facebook will baffle even the Holy Bible. For the average man's day begins with logging on to Facebook and swimming in the ocean amongst countless messages, replying to most and reading the rest. And perhaps this process feels so cathartic the people give up food, sleep, bath to just swim in this ocean of opinions.People are practically jobless that they have developed an involuntary tic to keep posting messages that seem trivial or irrelevant. But that would be too myopic a statement because deep within this problem has facets that needs more probing.

Why is this sudden urge to show off your kid's anxiety of going to school? The need for world to know you are mailing from the train on your laptop? That you have cooked something fabulous though god knows how it tastes? The sudden urge to show off your closet, your kitten ( I did that too), your sneakers, your face from every angle, you hugging every god damn object and person, all the countries you travel? Why is there a need for objectifying you love for your husband or wife by typing muaaahhhhhhhs on facebook when you could do it in private?

It definitely does have nothing to do with sharing information, let alone any wisdom. It's all a cry for acceptance, it is all about, hey I am alive, tell me something nice. It becomes a topic of conversation at tea breaks and lunches at offices, sometimes a break in the monotonous married life, an opportunity to gain acceptance for unpopular people. For those who never post anything, they benefit the voyeuristic pleasure of knowing what's happening in who's life. In a way we are all caught up in this bubble of so called social networking world .

But what it actually does is turn us off and make us irritated with the overdose of narcissistic hunger that does not get satiated despite years of posting nonsensical good morning and good evening messages. Messages we don't even pause twice to think or read and the tic disease attacks us, we end up posting it and even before someone else has read it they have clicked the like option. We like everything from WOW (women on wanderlust) to Burberry sales, Economic times to lingerie discounts. We even like the insults offered by others because we hardly realise we have been insulted such is our narcissistic craving to be acknowledged we like every person who mentions our name , posts our pics, toys with our feelings.

Facebook has become our new Bible by which we are dictated, controlled, comforted, guided, mentored, tutored by this world. You need advices on your baby's teething, you need to give gyaan on marital life, criticise inefficiency of Punto, decide on how to burn up your hubby's cash, poke, slap, join in any political dialogue you login and you are transferred to a new world.

Your judgement day is here too, you post taglines and wait at the banks waiting for someone to comment or like it and you crib if it does not happen. You feel you are outdated, when you look at the heroes with 52 comments on a good morning message. You pacify your ego saying my friendsaren't jobless so they don't comment while you tell yourself " They are jealous of me". And your judgement like the stock market is decided every day. You wait for the opening next day with new strategies of winning adulation and it continues the same nonsense of good morning, my dog is shitting, croquettes are yummy, baby has diarrhoea, hubby gifted D damas, We are in Honalulu, thank you, farewell, he is dead, damn democracy, Size zero bye bye, Kellogs K works, It raining, one page protests, invites, wedding pics and ...... honeymoon pics, showing off articles you read.................. and before you realise it, you have all joined the new church of Facebook where you religiously , ritualistically pay respects every day tolerating every crap, believing that suffering leads you to salvation.

Unlike our counterparts in Middle East where netizen activism stirs social action we prefer the dumbing down of our senses in nonsensical showing off and swim in the cesspool of blissful ignorance. And as Marx had once said, "religion is the opium of masses" and we dutifully pay respects to our new found faith as we have had to our religions in the past.